What’s happening in the North?

Musical life is exciting in North Cornwall at the moment and there are lots of opportunities for musicians of all abilities.

A large scale music collaboration which will culminate in a weeklong tour to Lake Garda in Italy involving Bodmin College Jazz Orchestra, Budehaven Choir and Triggshire Wind Orchestra has created lines of communication in all aspects of music and performance. There is a real buzz and sense of excitement following a series of collaborative concerts which have involved a wide range of ensembles and groups and there is already a feeling of support and cohesion growing between the musicians involved.

Concert venues have varied between Bodmin College, Sir James Smith’s School, Wadebridge School and Budehaven and there have regularly been well over a hundred musicians performing and sharing together. This includes; Sir James Smith’s School music classes,  GCSE bands and soloists, Whirlwinds, Triggshire Strings, Atlantic Strings, Bude Junior Choir and of course the three ensembles involved in the Italy tour. After rehearsing separately the groups have combined forces with instrumentalists supporting and accompanying the choir in pieces which have been put together in front of the audience.

Music tech and sound engineering are also integral aspects and an important spin-off has seen pupils from the different schools sharing knowledge and experiences. These pupils are also involved in the Tour.

The Heads of Departments and Instrumental staff are also all working well together as a team and whilst each department has its own identity, sharing musical experiences and performances together has enhanced this. It has also enabled a pooling of curriculum ideas, knowledge and resources.

New initiatives have also been implemented for the progression and transition from First Access through to Ensemble work. This is being achieved by the setting up of the Cornwall Music Education Hub sponsored ‘Next Steps Ensembles’ based in Wadebridge and Bude and involving Primary School pupils in surrounding areas. These are being hosted by Wadebridge Secondary School and Marhamchurch Primary and delivered by CMST staff. These groups are running alongside school based ensemble sessions which are happening across the area for string players and woodwind players and which are also being delivered by CMST staff with funding from the Tanner trust obtained by CMST.

A new CMST Guitar ensemble has also been established at Wadebridge School and this is already giving public performances.

All of the above is happening alongside a wide variety of other school based ensembles including steel bands, samba bands, a capella choir, chamber choirs, jazz bands, pop and rock bands and solo and small group performances.